Sharp Brains: Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News

Neuroplasticity, Brain Fitness and Cognitive Health News


Available: Discussion Guide for The SharpBrains Guide to Brain Fitness

SharpBrainsGuide_3D_compressedWhat better way to stimulate our minds than to explore and discuss the latest brain science and how to apply it to improve our health and our lives?

We are pleased to offer a new discussion guide for our new book — The Sharp­Brains Guide to Brain Fit­ness: How to Opti­mize Brain Health and Per­for­mance at Any Age (April 2013) — so you can ignite a good conversation with your friends, colleagues, students, in the same way that others at Harvard University, UCLA, the University of Pretoria, The Conference Board, Friends LifeCare, CBCradio, and more, have already started to.

Below, and in this Discussion Guide PDF that you can easily print and share, you will find 20 questions designed to elicit through-provoking conversation on various topics presented in the book. Feel free to pick and choose the questions that seem best suited for your group, and of course do not hesitate to let the discussion guide itself as the conversation starts to get interesting!


  1. Prior to reading this book, what did “Use it or lose it” mean to you? What does it mean to you now?
  2. What have you learned about your brain that has surprised you the most?
  3. What have you been doing over the last couple of years to help maintain your brain in top shape?
  4. How would you define neuroplasticity? And, why does it matter?
  5. What are some key brain functions to nurture and maintain other than memory? And why may attending to some of these other functions result in a better memory?
  6. At what age should we start thinking about brain health and fitness? Why?
  7. Is the brain fitness value of doing 25 crossword puzzles different depending on whether those are our first ever 25 puzzles or whether we already have done 10,000 puzzles before? Why?
  8. What type of evidence do book authors use to support the book’s ideas? Does it seem convincing? Relevant?
  9. Why is physical exercise good for the brain? How do different types of exercise seem to affect the brain?
  10. How are your diet and your brain connected? Can you give precise examples of what to do, and what not to do?
  11. What leisure activities effectively stimulate and challenge the mind? Are crossword puzzles among them? Why or why not?
  12. Can you explain the mechanisms by which stress may affect the brain and thus cognitive performance? Under what circumstances does stress adversely or beneficially affect the brain?
  13. How is meditation a kind of brain training? Why do you think the practice is not as widespread as yoga?
  14. Can you define brain training and compare it to mental stimulation?
  15. Which of the brain training techniques that you read about in the book stand out most to you?
  16. Have you tried any of the computerized brain training programs discussed in the book? If so, what has your experience been?
  17. Which vignette in Chapter 9 did you find most personally relevant and valuable?
  18. Which interviews did you enjoy the most? Which one left you wanting to learn more, and why?
  19. How can the growing field of brain fitness affect the way we live our personal and professional lives? How may it affect yours?
  20. Do you feel better equipped now to understand, navigate and discuss new science and new ways to optimize brain health and performance? How do you plan to stay abreast of this rapidly developing field?

We hope this provides some stimulating summer reading and discussion everywhere where beautiful human brains are to be found 🙂

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